I don’t know who Keith Robinson is, but he gives us plenty to think about in the comments below:
“What use am I in the world? Has my life really made a difference in anything? Would anything be appreciably different if I were not here? What is the old saying about putting your hand in a pail of water and withdrawing it: the hole that remains is how much you will be missed when you are gone! I am not pessimistic, depressed, or tired of living, but in reality, I have to recognize that my life has not made much of an impact on the world, certainly nothing like I had intended when I was 18 years old. But I am encouraged by the fact that human worth is not measured only in terms of fame, fortune, and sociopolitical influence. Perhaps the greatest measure of our value is how much we are needed by some other human being. John Mark was important because Paul needed him in a time of extreme anxiety and distress. The once useless Onesimus became ‘useful’ to Paul and to Philemon.
“When the final books are balanced and closed, the greatest tribute anyone could receive would be: They were useful! Someone needed them! And what greater ambition could a person entertain than to be needed, to be useful. My input is not desired or needed for the Mid-East peace talks. It is doubtful that those involved are indispensable. But I fill a need in the lives of a few people that cannot be filled by anyone else. If there is someone who needs my love, if there is someone who looks forward to my presence, even if I can be nothing much more than just the object to someone’s love, then I am not worthless. My life is not in vain. My existence is not futile. I may not be much, but I can love someone and make them feel needed. I can be the object of someone else’s love and thus fill their needs and mine. No one is useless unless they give up on life and love.
” ‘Onesimus’ means ‘useful.